Title: The Perfect Crimes of Marian Hayes
Author: Cat Sebastian
Series: The Queen Principles of Kit Webb Series
Publication Date: June 7, 2022
Sub Genre(s): LGBTQ+, Historical, Mystery
Summary: Desperate times call for desperate measures. Which is exactly why Marian Hayes, Duchess of Clare, turns to Rob Brooks, the very con artist and highwayman who tried to unsuccessfully blackmail her, for help. -From NoveList
What I Liked: This is an amazing queer romance book with a ton of representation. This book deals with things much heavier than expected in romance novels, but Sebastian tackles issues of class, sexuality, and gender beautifully. Without a doubt, the strongest thing about this book is the characters, especially the relationship between Marian and Rob. It’s not often you have two main characters who identify as bisexual, open and honest discussions about ensuring your partner is safe while having sex, and the possibility of pegging (!) a partner later. I love the way they spoke to each other and I found that my favorite moments in the book were when they were allowed to be vulnerable with one another and expose their true selves. I ALWAYS appreciate a romance that takes the grumpy/sunshine trope and switches it up, which Sebastian does wonderfully here. Rob is a mush ball who rescues cats and loves holding babies while Marian is the gruff, sensible one. I fell in love with these two and their banter.
What I Didn’t Like: The whole premise itself was a bit weak and the ending wrapped up too nicely for there to be much of a mystery element here. Also, the obstacles that Rob and Marian thought were going to keep them apart weren’t that great to overcome so the stakes didn’t seem that high.
Who Should Read It: Historical romance fans will enjoy this book, as will fans of romances that play with traditional gender roles.
Review Wrap Up: I enjoyed reading Marian and Rob’s story after being teased with it so much in “The Queer Principles of Kit Webb.” The sex-positive attitude of the characters was wonderful, and the adventure was fun. I would recommend this book for romance fans but although it’s billed as a standalone, I would advise reading the first book to fully enjoy this one.
Favorite Quote: “You have been busy,” he murmured, thinking of what a waste it was that in all the thousands of love poems written across the ages, nobody had ever thought to catalogue their beloved’s proficiency in crime.